Our first two days hiking in Vals were amazing (you can see the photos here and here). Beautiful views, lakes, farms, marmots… It was a very nice return to the mountains after the long rainy spring. As the previous days left us with a very good feeling, we decided to push ourselves a bit more and do something more challenging the last day. After studying carefully the map with the different hiking routes in the valley, we chose to hike to Patnaulpass, a mountain pass at 2773m with views of the neighbor valley. And if the weather allowed us, then we would hike from there to the summit of Faltschonhorn, at 3022m.
The plan sounded great the previous night. But when we woke up, we saw low clouds covering the whole valley. That didn’t discourage us. I love foggy days. We put on our boots, took our backpacks and, after buying provisions in the Sommermarkt in Vals (delicious regional cheese, bread and raspberry cake), we went to the gondola that took us to Gadastatt and saved us the first 600m of ascension.
The first part of the route was easy. We walked through the green slopes of the mountain and crossed little creeks with beautiful waterfalls until we reached the alpine cow farm Leisalp. By then, we were already walking between the low fog in the valley and the clouds above us, so we could already see the mountains at the other side of the valley. Watching the clouds dance around the massive peaks in front of us was mesmerizing! As we continued ascending, we started to find more and bigger snow patches and ice and the temperature started to drop. After an exhausting and long ascension, we finally reached Patnaulpass, where we had a brief lunch at 5º while deciding if it would be worth to continue to the summit. Eventually, we didn’t. The clouds were low and there wasn’t any view from the top and there was more snow in the final part of the trail. So we went down to Gadastatt again, tired but happy!
Here are some photos I took during this hike. As you can see in this and the previous posts, Vals is a very special place in Switzerland and is a truly hidden gem! Now I dream to visit this magical place again soon!